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Andy Griffith Dies; Smoke Jumpers; Death Toll in Syria Climbs; CEO & COO of Barclays Resign; Millions of Households Still Without Power; NYC Uses Cab Drivers As Anti-Sex Trafficking Tool; South Carolina Woman Sentenced to Read Old Testament; Hotels Offer "Fifty Shades of Grey" Experience; A Look Behind Olympic Medals;
Aired July 3, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour now. I'm Ashleigh Banfield live in New York, in for Brooke Baldwin today.
And we have got a lot of news happening, but first, we have got this news. He was the ultimate TV good guy, Andy Griffith, the small- town sheriff who was a big, big favorite to viewers of "The Andy Griffith Show." Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON KNOTTS, ACTOR: My sideburns, where are they? Are they on the side or they on the top?
ANDY GRIFFITH, ACTOR: Neither place. They're right here on the floor.
KNOTTS: I told you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Starring with Don Knotts back '60s. Griffith today at the age of 86. And Americans everywhere are grieving the loss, including at the White House.
President Obama said in a statement: "Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Andy Griffith this morning. A performer of extraordinary talent, Andy was beloved by generations of forms and revered by entertainers who followed in his footsteps. He brought us characters from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Ben Matlock and in the process warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy's family."
Longtime CNN host Larry King talked to me earlier about the actor and then remembered him real fondly too. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, FORMER HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": He was a wonderful guest because he answered the question you asked and he responded in kind. He also was I think an extraordinarily talent actor, way beyond just the roles he did on television. He did some major movies. He had an Academy Award nomination. He did a major play on Broadway, "No Time for Sergeants." He did one of the funniest comedy albums ever made called "What It Was Was Football."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: CNN's Larry King speaking to me just in the last hour.
Barbara Eden, a television actress who appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show," and then went on to star in one of my favorite shows growing up, "I Still Dream of Jeannie," joins me live now on the phone.
Ms. Eden, can you hear me?
BARBARA EDEN, ACTRESS: I can hear you, Ashleigh, yes.
BANFIELD: Thank you so much for speaking with me. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, and truly he was your friend, not just a colleague and co-star, wasn't he?
EDEN: He certainly was.
I think he was -- actually, I feel awful about his loss. But he was a wonderful, wonderful man. And I felt like I had a gift working with him. His talent created an aura of reality on the set. He was so honest and so centered.
Sometimes you didn't know if you were having a discussion with him or if he were doing the lines on your show. It was fun.
BANFIELD: That's a good thing. That's a great thing as an actor. I can imagine you would really appreciate that.
EDEN: It was wonderful.
BANFIELD: I'm sorry. I was just going to say tell me a little bit about this golden age of television that he was the standard bearer for American family values, it seems. When I think of family values, I tend to think of him and how he portrayed his life. Even though it was scripted, it was really a lot of him coming through those lines.
EDEN: A lot of it was him. But, also, it wasn't dull and it wasn't superficial. It was real.
And that's why it's still on today. I have people come up to me and say, you were the manicurist on "Andy Griffith."
I say, what? Oh, yes, I was. When I toured with Don Knotts in a Neil Simon play, Andy came to see us in West Virginia. Of all places, there he was. He and Don had a great friendship.
BANFIELD: It seemed to really show in their performances on "The Andy Griffith Show."
Just personally to you, I'm a huge fan. I used to dress up as "I Still Dream of Jeannie" for Halloween when I was a kid. I adored your program. You were a part of a phenomenal era, as he was as well. I appreciate your thoughts, Barbara. Thank you for being with us today.
EDEN: My pleasure, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: What a pleasure. What an absolute pleasure.
We want to go live now to Los Angeles and our showbiz correspondent Kareen Wynter, who is standing by.
So this is quite a story. I'm not sure that anyone was really expecting this. Do we know at this point what it was that caused his death?
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't know.
His family released a very short statement a while ago saying that Andy passed away at his home peacefully and that he had been laid to rest in his beloved Roanoke Island. We do know that he was plagued by health problems the last several years undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery.
But the last several years of his life, he spent it in his native North Carolina home going back to his roots. That's one thing the governor mentioned in a statement he released a short time ago saying that he never forgot his roots and it was so great that he put the state on the map and he had done so much for people over the years.
Not just people in North Carolina, but beyond. And looking at the shows such at "Matlock," "The Andy Griffith Show," it's hard not to have your favorite moments. I have to tell you, before coming on, I looked back online and I of course watched the reruns as a child, as we all did growing up watching this talented performer.
Some of my favorite scenes involved the late Don Knotts. You found them both so relatable. Barbara just mentioned that in her interview with you talking about this great icon, why he was successful over the years, why he had not just one, but two hit shows. It's that America fell in love with him and they saw beyond this character on the big screen.
Hopefully that's how he will be remembered -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: I was a 1-year-old baby when that show went off the air in '68. But I have a feeling that it was the fabric of my home. It was the sound in the background, because that song, it is part of my DNA, the open to that "Andy Griffith Show."
WYNTER: So well said.
BANFIELD: Thanks, Kareen. Nice to see you. Nice to see you. Thanks for joining us today.
EDEN: You too.
BANFIELD: Coming up, one of the world's largest banks trying to diffuse one hell of a scandal. Three top executives out the door in just the last two days. Who best to get us the skinny on this, Richard Quest, coming up next.
BANFIELD: If you thought the banking scandal or any of the banking scandals that you hear about maybe were winding down, think again, my friend. We have some disturbing news for you.
An American-born man named Bob Diamond resigning abruptly today as the chairman of the British bank Barclays? Why does that matter to you, British bank? Listen up. Here's the background.
Just last week, Barclays agreed to pay one whopper of a fine. Nearly a half billion dollars. That's because it admitted to manipulating interest rates. Say it again, manipulating interest rates.
What the what the? Bob Diamond is the third Barclays executive to fall in this scandal. He tossed out little old hints like if he's going down, he plans to take others with him.
Richard Quest is our money guy in London.
Richard, here is what I would like you to explain for me. This whole issue has to do with a key global interest rate called the LIBOR. As I understand it, in layman's speak, that's a rate that is set by an informal poll of the banks as to what they think they can get money for, what rate they could get money for, and Barclays wasn't being truthful about its numbers. Why did that matter to me or anything else all around the world? How could that have such an impact?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an excellent -- you given an excellent description of LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate.
And why it matters, because the rest of the banking world, the consumer credit organizations, your car loans, in some cases subprime mortgages, in other cases, not full-scale mortgages, they take that interest rate and add on the percentage.
You now how we used to talk about prime rate plus or whatever in the U.S.? You can take LIBOR as being that's the rate and then your car loan is LIBOR plus two, LIBOR plus 1.5. If this was just Barclays fiddling the numbers, it would be serious but it would not be systemic.
What appears to have been happening to use that quaint phrase is they were all up to it. And all we're really waiting is for regulators in the U.S., the SEC and others and over here to basically blow the whistle and say who else was involved. One thing to note. This all happened in the era of irresponsibility before the financial crisis.
BANFIELD: Big surprise. Let me throw a couple of names out at you and we will play a word game. You give me your first response. Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Bank of Scotland, UBS, RBS, already said that one, and Citigroup. Are these guys in trouble? Are these banks in trouble because of...
BANFIELD: Oh, look at you.
QUEST: Can't hear you. Can't hear you. What are you saying?
QUEST: Of course.
BANFIELD: It's a word game. It's not an acting game.
QUEST: Of course.
BANFIELD: Could we see a lot of these top honchos walking out the door because of this investigation and because of what Diamond just said, I'm taking others down too?
QUEST: He doesn't quite mean it in that -- when he says I'm taking down others too, he's talking about government regulators, the Bank of England, the people who may have given a nod and a wink to what was actually taking place.
As we say in this country, no, what -- if we look at these other banks -- and let's give Barclays some credit. They were the first out the gate. They have spent $100 million investigating this. They have looked at 22 million documents and they have paid a whopping half billion dollar fine. We know that other banks are being investigated.
We can assume that other banks have had their own investigations, but, Ashleigh, we do not have one other bank so far that's put its head above the parapet and said me too.
BANFIELD: The story definitely continues. Just by the acting skills alone, you're booked back on the show any old time. Richard Quest, thanks. My friend, nice to see you.
Back here in the United States, another money issue. A lot of people worried about protecting their families financially after they die. Life insurance, it can certainly help out. But you really do need to know what you're looking for. (FINANCIAL UPDATE)
BANFIELD: Fighting wildfires, this is one heck of a dangerous job, but nothing as dangerous as this part of fighting. See the uniforms? See where they're going? Yes, they just jump out of those planes, smoke jumpers jumping into wildfires. Think you're brave? Have I got a story for you.
BANFIELD: We finally got some good news for you along the Colorado wildfire lines where the firefighters are really starting to get an upper hand, finally, especially in that deadly Waldo Canyon fire that has been so devastating.
See that picture? The C-130 military plane that helps to fight the fires? This has been a crucial tool in helping to battle those flames from the air. And they are back in action today after being temporarily grounded because one of the fleet crashed fighting a fire in South Dakota, killing four crew members.
And that brought the fleet down for more assessments on the danger of flying them. So much of containment of these out-of-control fires can be credited to the men and the women who are in blistering heat working the front lines and some of those people literally jump out of airplanes right into the fires below. Yes.
CNN's Gary Tuchman shows us what a day in the life is like for a smoke jumper.
We see what a day in the life is like for a smoke jumper.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the entire USA, there are only 430 of them. They are among the firefighting elite. They are the "Smoke Jumpers."
And many of them are in Colorado right now marching onto aircraft, which is their transportation to the action. Their job? To fly into the fires just as new ones are starting up and stop them from getting bigger.
This is video the smoke jumpers just brought back. It's hard to spot the flames from up here 1,500 feet, but the smoke jumpers are trained to see them and it's all very clear when they're on the ground.
Nowhere near any roads and sometimes quite a distance from any civilization. If they don't get to the blaze quickly, the flames will often spread rapidly. Smoke jumpers court disaster every day they're on the job.
(on camera): When you talk to people you know that aren't close family, you tell them what you do, what do they say to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think I should have my head examined.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Part of the reason for that is because of how they get to the fires.
(on camera): Firefighting is not an occupation for the timid particularly in this specialty. Take a look, these guys just don't fight fires, they sky dive into potentially deadly combustible wilderness.
(voice-over): We were invited to watch the smoke jumpers train in this canyon near Grand Junction, Colorado. After the smoke jumpers land, their equipment is attached to its own parachute.
STEVE STROUD, SMOKE JUMPER: Inside the cargo you find our hand tools for fighting the fires.
TUCHMAN: The smoke jumpers who all work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Interior also have MREs, water and sleeping bags in their cargo boxes.
Because they may be in the wilderness for up to 48 hours while hauling gear on their backs.
PHILIP LIND, SMOKE JUMPER: It usually weighs between 120 to 140 pounds and will hike out of that situation.
TUCHMAN: The fires in Colorado have been unpredictable and relentless, but there are so many other ways to get hurt including lightning and bad parachute landings.
Philip Lind who's once seriously hurt when he missed the target.
LIND: I had a branch of a tree puncture me and come through this pelvis and eviscerate me and fortunately, the personnel I was with was a trained paramedic.
TUCHMAN: The smoke jumpers put out the fires by clearing fuels with their equipment and digging fire lines. Also building backfires to stop the wildfires in their tracks.
They have to get along with each other because their lives depend relying each other.
(on camera): Are there times when you're fearful?
LIND: Most certainly. I think all firefighters have moment when they're fearful. We like to say courage is not the absence of fear, but making of action in spite of it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And there has been no shortage of action this fire season.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Grand Junction, Colorado.
BANFIELD: Man, those guys are amazing. Good job, Gary Tuchman. Thanks for bringing us that story.
It's day four without power for millions of Americans. And I don't need to tell you that the temperatures are hot and grueling. And they're going to stick around for a couple more days, too, which is the bad part of it.
The death toll from the heat-related storms has now risen 20. From Indiana to Delaware, 1.4 million households are without power. In some of the hardest-hit storm areas, the patience is really running short too. Power companies are trying to fully restore power, not able to get to everybody, though . They say it could be Saturday now before lights are back on, air conditioning is back on, even fans. And they can't charge their phones.
Think about all the things you take for granted. On a hot day, it makes it even worse.
In Wisconsin, watch the video. Extreme heat caused a dangerous situation. Look at that, airborne SUV. That's a highway just buckling in the heat. It's unbelievable. The SUV had no idea that that was coming. It did swerve, ended up in a big cloud of dust, but we don't have any reports of injuries at that, but really quite a remarkable video to see a highway just buckling in the severe heat of Wisconsin.
Day by day, the death toll inside Syria climbing. You have heard it before. You have seen violent video before, but now an official report, a credible report, a report of actual, honest evidence of torture and just how bad it is. Let me say this. You think you have heard bad? You ain't heard nothing yet.
BANFIELD: Allegations of torture in Syria have come to us up until now in dribs and drabs, disturbing as they are.
But take, for instance, this video that was shot within the past week in the war-ravaged city of Hama. The man on your screen says the marks on his back were delivered by blows from the hands of his government, the Syrian armed forces. But now a respected human rights organization has nailed down the details, excruciating details, right down to the names of the torture facilities, the names of the torturers themselves, the names of the people giving orders to torture.
It's Human Rights Watch, and it says that it's systematic. The torture is being committed by the Syrian government and it says it's got hard evidence, witnesses, the whole lot.
It includes -- quote -- "prolonged beatings often objects such as batons and cables, holding detainees in painful stress positions for prolonged periods of time, the use of electricity, burning with acid, sexual assault and humiliation."
With us now from Atlanta, Jim Clancy of CNN International. Jim, it's not like we haven't heard reports of torture before, all over the world, and certainly in Syria, as this now year-long-plus campaign has been waged. But it sounds from Human Rights Watch as though the level of torture has sort of reached a new kind of depravity.
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a depravity, but it's a planned one.
As you well know, this regime has been telling people since the outset that they are in a war against terrorists. And this report from Human Rights Watch puts pay to all of that because it details how the torture is similar. The experiences across the country in different facilities are similar. It's systemic, just what Human Rights Watch says. It's way to repress their population. A population that wants change from the top.
They are beating people to death to do that. They are repressing them in all sorts of a different ways. And what Human Rights Watch has done is really revolutionized all of this process in a way to get these very intricate details and calling on the International Criminal Court to take this data and use it.
This isn't just a story about cases of torture. This is evidence in trials that could be upcoming. Someone somewhere has to be held accountable -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Yes. That's exactly where I wanted to go next with you, because, as I read through this report, it looked to me almost like a police investigation of violence and murder in the United States, where you compile hard evidence, you get witnesses, you take their statements.
You see the drawings. It almost looks as though they have taken these accounts from the witnesses and created the drawing. They have created what looks like an archipelago of terror and of horror. This looks like it's a preparation of hard evidence for an international case, like you mentioned.
Is there a risk at this point for serious exposure for not only Assad, but the rest of his administration?
CLANCY: Well, you know, people talk about this kind of a report and say, oh, it's a name and shame report.
This is more than that. It's a name and sweat report, because it is absolutely putting these people on notice we have evidence against you. We have credible witnesses, multiple witnesses, in most cases, who will testify against you. They've already testified. It's in this report. It shows a raising of the sophistication that we saw in investigations by Human Rights Watch in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in the Balkans.
In all of those places, there was a lot of talk about the victims, but not so much about the perpetrators. Here, the perpetrators are brought forward, front and center, to be held accountable.
There's no doubt, as I read this report, that there's some horrific acts that are documented here. The question I can't answer is whether it will make a difference and whether it will deter people and that's what the threat of prosecution is really aimed to do, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Just quickly, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, every time there's a claim made against his administration of violence, of terror, of wholesale bombing of residential communities, he says these are terrorists. I'm fighting terrorists.
There's an opposition. People are calling this a civil war. He always says the same things are happening on the other side.
But is he now at risk of any kind of -- I mean, I hate to say -- arrest? Is there any way that he might actually face justice unless he's pulled kicking and screaming from his castle?
CLANCY: Well, you know, it certainly is. I mean, you look at Charles Taylor and his case in Liberia. No one thought he would ever stand trial. Well, he was just convicted, the first standing head of state ever to be brought before the ICC.
So, you know, the possibility is always there. I think Bashar al-Assad has to be thinking about it, but this report, this kind of data, Ashleigh, this really gives us the information to say that this alternate reality that Bashar al-Assad is trying to sell the world, this alternate reality of terror groups fighting against the government, al Qaeda involved and all of these things that is being advanced by Russia and China at the U.N. security council, it's all fabrication.
It's a gossamer cover, if you will, over what is really happening inside Syria. The Human Rights Watch report details what is happening.
BANFIELD: Kind of makes you wonder if the International Criminal Court wouldn't mind another conviction under its belt, certainly with all the money that it's taken to actually put that court into existence.
Jim Clancy, good to see you. Thank you, sir.
CLANCY: Good to see you.
BANFIELD: New York taxi drivers have a brand-new mission. They are set to become the newest soldiers in the frontlines in the war against sex trafficking. A very strange connection. Sex trafficking in traffic? We'll explain how they feel about all of this.
BANFIELD: Cab drivers in New York City are now being asked to do something they're not used to do, look out for sex trafficking. Where? In their own backseats. Not kidding. CNN's Richard Roth has the details.
MICHAEL DICK, CAB DRIVER: Where would you like to go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 20th between 5th and 6th, please.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael Dick is a New York cab driver. Soon, Michael and all yellow taxi and private car services will be told by the city of New York where to go -- a training course on how to spot sex trafficking in their vehicles.
CHRISTINE DUNN, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: We want drivers to look for -- is the kind of thing -- are a lot of children hanging around a particular driver? Are there people, children or adults, who don't speak, who seem incredibly nervous and frightened?
ROTH: Cab drivers say they oppose sex trafficking, but feel they are unfairly targeted and some question the effectiveness of one class.
DICK: I think 90 percent of the cab drivers, although they may watch the video, I don't think they would take action or do anything.
ROTH: Sex trafficking by taxi is rare. However, as police crack down on brothels, traffickers have adjusted. Now paying drivers of all kinds of vehicles to ferry victims to the customer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a big problem. Not only here in New York City and around New York state, but around the world. We're seeing drivers as an integral part of the sex trafficking industry.
ROTH: The new law is supposed to place more eyes on the problem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, you may begin your testimony.
ROTH: During debate, a sex trafficking victim testified, her identity hidden. She spoke through an activist.
SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM (through translator): For one week at a time, the driver would pick me up and take me from location to location based upon the schedule that he had set up for the men who were buying sex.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a really important issue, but one that will be incredibly difficult to enforce.
DICK: I can't understand how they're going to enforce it. They don't even enforce the honking law, which is a lot easier. People honk like crazy.
ROTH: The new sex trafficking laws are tougher.
DUNN: If you don't want to lose your license, if you don't want a $10,000 fine, don't participate in sex trafficking. It's crystal clear.
BANFIELD: And Richard Roth is here with me now live.
So when I first heard about this, I was completely perplexed by it, Richard. I have to honest with you. I had never thought of New York City taxicabs as an integral part of sex trafficking. Is it as big a deal, as big a problem, as they're saying it is?
ROTH: They're saying New York is a major growing hub, potentially. We have a lot of airports. We have people from all over the world. There have been arrests for one ring with black livery car drivers that were involved, according to the authorities.
They want to increase the number of eyes on it, but it did lead to some interesting early concerns about what kind of passenger is the cab driver looking at in the backseat.
BANFIELD: Listen, I'm a huge reader of the "New York Post" and "The Daily News" and there were all these scantily clad women all over the front pages of the tabloids on city hall on the steps, saying, you can't have a law like this. You're going to target me when I come home from the nightclub.
ROTH: But by then the supporters of this bill had already changed the language. They didn't want the sex workers who may be involved in prostitution, they didn't want them targeted.
They didn't certainly want women who might be wearing, according to the mayor of New York, sporty clothing.
BANFIELD: You're looking for the puppeteers? The puppeteers, right?
ROTH: They want the real deal here and they made sure the language in the bill did not include any reference to, if you see a woman who looks like she might be involved in anything, report it.
No, that's not supposed to happen. But, yes, there were newspaper headlines that said, no hookers; cabbies can't pick up hookers. It was a red herring with the supporters.
BANFIELD: They're being specific. They are showing -- they're actually teaching these cab drivers what to look for.
ROTH: As you heard the city council president say, a child, a victim, someone who looks, maybe -- you don't know if it's a victim -- someone who looks scared, an older person in the car. Someone who looks frightened. That kind of thing.
BANFIELD: That is a heavy burden.
ROTH: It's very tricky. While you're also trying to keep an eye on the road and many cab drivers, of course, speak different languages. BANFIELD: The language, yes.
ROTH: And they're probably on the phone, not necessarily with the authorities.
BANFIELD: Also illegal.
ROTH: And you also cab windows. Yes, try getting them to turn off the phone.
BANFIELD: Listen, that's a tough row to hoe. It's a valiant effort, but it's a tricky one.
Richard Roth, thank you for that. Appreciate it. Great report out there, too, with the cab driver.
So, coming up, a South Carolina woman convicted of drunk driving gets a very, very strange sentence. Ready for this? I'm not sure you've ever heard this one before. Read the Bible and write me a book report. This is no joke and guess what. It's legal. We'll explain, next.
BANFIELD: OK. You're going to like this one. A convicted drunk driver in South Carolina gets eight years in prison, five years probation, and a reading assignment.
This a report from the newspaper, "The Herald Rock Hill," saying that this woman, Cassandra Tolley, has to read the Old Testament and has to write a summary as part of her sentence.
What? you say. Separation of church and state?
Well, let's get to the crime first. Tolley reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .33 when she drove the wrong way down a road in November last year. She severely injured two people in the ensuing crash.
Defense attorney Joey Jackson is on the case.
First thing I thought was, ain't no way this is going to stick. Ain't no how and it will.
JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It will.
JACKSON: Well, primarily because she consented to it. She said, you know what, judge? You're being reasonable. Why? Because what can the judge have done? The judge could have said, I'm giving you the maximum. You're going to spend double that time in jail.
But the judge said, listen, we can work this out. Why? Because people need religion in their lives, so as a result, I want you to go back and read the Old Testament, The Book of Job. You're going to write a summary. You're going to spend eight years in jail, which is a very tempered sentence, which this takes into effect the victims as well as the defendant.
BANFIELD: I don't know you're an attorney, but you also have to be a biblical scholar.
JACKSON: A biblical scholar, yes, sure.
BANFIELD: Why The Book of Job?
JACKSON: Well, listen, far from, but look, the point is that it's about the righteousness and why do the righteous suffer. Here is Job and Job has everything in the universe. He's got seven daughters. He's got three sons. He owns the world.
And what happens? It burns. It's taken all away from him. And what would normal people do, Ashleigh? We would just whimper, but he stands tall. Satan comes and tries to distract him and he says, no, I'm going to remain faithful in the face of adversity and he overcomes. It's a great book.
BANFIELD: Clearly. Better than "Shades of Grey."
JACKSON: From what I hear, it couldn't be any better than that, but anyway ...
BANFIELD: You know what I'm talking. You know that I know you too well. So, let me ask you this. Is this the kind of thing that a judge can come up with on his or her own or is this something that is recommended from prosecutors in concert with defense attorneys, et cetera?
JACKSON: Well, listen, generally speaking, what a sentence is is imposed by statues, so there are laws which tell you what the sentence is going to be. It's a maximum of this in jail, 15 years, or you can give a minimum of five years or you can do the drinking-driving program.
So the statutory sentences are pretty much imposed, but judges have some discretion as to what they can do. Now, because, of course, she consented, it's a non-issue.
Can you -- in opening up this segment -- you know, talk about separation of church and state? There's a big separation. If there was any opposition to this, of course, a judge would have no authority to force someone to read the Bible without their consent and wanting to do it.
BANFIELD: OK, I should mention, as well, as we sort of laughed through the segment about the unusual aspect of this kind of a sentence, there's more to this story.
We love to hate people who drink and drive and cause injury and despair and these two victims were badly injured. One of them had a terrible surgery, rods, I think, into the spine.
JACKSON: Their spine. Absolutely.
BANFIELD: Can't sit or work.
JACKSON: One could lose their foot. Yes.
BANFIELD: They're bad injuries. This woman also is damaged goods. She was terribly abused as a child.
JACKSON: So true.
BANFIELD: That comes into this, doesn't it?
JACKSON: It does because it serves as what we call a mitigator in law. There are aggravating factors and then there are mitigating factors. And, apparently, when she was 11, she was doused with gasoline. She was set on fire. She still has those scars. And she was suffering from some alcohol.
And, look, part of the whole process is to attempt to rehabilitate and work with the defendant, if you can. This judge did that and I think deserves kudos as a result.
BANFIELD: You know what? Without question it got us talking and it's a fascinating case. For anybody out there who's curious about it, though, if you do -- again, if you say, no, way. That's not going to be my sentence.
JACKSON: And that's why, you know, Ashleigh, we swear or affirm in court, right? We swear or affirm to tell the truth because we don't necessarily have to be religious when we testify. Right?
BANFIELD: That's right. That's right. Good to see you, as always. Come back again.
JACKSON: Great to see you, Ashleigh. Would love to.
BANFIELD: Joey Jackson. He's like my brother because my brother's name is Joey, so we have a special connection.
BANFIELD: Thank you, Joey Jackson.
JACKSON: A pleasure.
BANFIELD: So it's being called "mommy porn." You heard me mention it before, the "Fifty Shades of Grey." It's making waves and it's making more than that. It's making big bucks. Serious moolah.
Now, there are hotels trying to cash in on this. Are you kidding me? I'm not kidding you. Wait until you hear about the real life experiences they're offering. Oh, yeah.
BANFIELD: Half men, half arachnid and 100-percent smart aleck. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW GARFIELD, ACTOR, "THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN": If you're going to steal cars, don't dress like a car thief.
You found my weakness. It's small knives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Say hello to our little friend, the new "Amazing Spider-Man." The movie trending, hitting theaters today. A new twist on the old hero stars Andrew Garfield as the wall-crawling web- slinger. Emma Stone plays the heroine. My kids are going off the rails about this.
So, you know the popular "Fifty Shades of Grey" book? Come on, admit it. You do. It's pretty racy. Guess what? You could soon get the "Fifty Shades of Grey" experience, I do declare, at a hotel near you.
Here's our Alison Kosik.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ashleigh, first there was Harry Potter and then came "Twilight." Well, now, the "Fifty Shades of Grey" frenzy is sweeping the nation, but this craze is not for kids.
Hotels across the country are starting to offer packages based on the massively popular and scandalous book by E. L. James.
Personality Hotel says it's calling all women to take charge and be in the driver's seat, offering a "Fifty Shades of Women" package at three of its locations. And for $369, the package includes deluxe accommodations, a black satin scarf and feathers. We won't get into the other products that are included, but we can safely say the feathers are not for dusting.
At the Hotel Max in Seattle, you can get a "Fifty Shades of Seattle" package starting at $1,669. That includes chauffeured, town car service, a helicopter tour of the city and a sailing excursion, among other indulgences, of course.
And at Portland's Heathman Hotel, it all depends on if you're traveling on a budget. The "Inner Goddess Addition" costs $40 and includes a bottle of pinot grigio. If you're willing to shell out $2,700, you get appetizers and wine for six people, limo transfers and, yes, another helicopter ride.
It's no surprise these hotels are trying to cash-in. All three of the "Fifty Shades" books sit at the top of "The New York Times" fiction bestseller list and have been on that list for four months.
BANFIELD: Thanks, Alison Kosik. I thought you were going to say they offered handcuffs as part of the package, too, but I guess not. So guess what. The Olympic medals have arrived in London. That happened today. But I have a question for you. Guess how much gold, silver and bronze is actually in a gold, silver and bronze medal.
I'll give you the break to think about it. Back in a moment.
BANFIELD: We are just a couple minutes away now from the top of the hour, which would indicate that Wolf Blitzer is standing by live in "The Situation Room." There you are, my friend. What have you got going?
WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": We have a lot going on in the 4:00 p.m. Eastern hour.
Near the top of the hour, it's pretty shocking to me, the United States is still shelling out -- get this -- about a billion dollars a year in economic and military aid to Iraq, even though the Iraqis have a $50 billion budget surplus. They are one of the major oil-exporting countries in the world right now. They're rolling in cash and U.S. taxpayers are still shelling out all that money to build some infrastructure, military aid, economic aid to Iraq. What's going on?
One congressman from Utah, the Republican chair of a key House subcommittee is outraged by this. He's going to be joining us in the next hour. We're talking about that.
We'll also get some analysis from Mary Matalin and Paul Begala. The chairman has a lot to talk about, as well.
We have a lot coming up. Don't forget, a new 6:00 p.m. Eastern, third hour of "The Situation Room." We have an excellent roundtable in that hour. A lot of news, a lot of important stuff coming up.
BANFIELD: I remember someone once called you the Energizer Bunny of television news and that's the reason. You are the hardest working man I know. Thank you, Wolf. Look forward to it.
BLITZER: Keep going and going and going ...
BANFIELD: You do. It's good stuff.
BLITZER: You're working hard, too. I see you in the morning, in the afternoon.
BANFIELD: Got big shoes to fill when it comes to you as my partner.
OK. So the Summer Olympics just a few weeks away. London's gearing up to get the medals ready for the thousands of athletes showing up. And they are the biggest and most expensive medals ever. Beautiful.
So how much gold is actually in the gold? It turns out not so much. And wait until you hear what the bronze is really made of. Here's Jim Boulden.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Royal Mint may be owned by the British government, but that was no guarantee it would win the contract to make the 4,700 medals to be presented at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Mint says it beat out more than two dozen other contenders to make sure the medals have a real British connection.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wasn't about making money. This was about us having the right to do it. Now, we're a broader licensee of the games, too, so we make quite a decent range of commemorative coins and commemorative products for the Olympic Games and that's where we'll make money.
BOULDER: So no profit from these medals, but the pride here is palatable.
What did you think when you were awarded the contract for the medals?
SIAN MERRY, SEAMSTRESS, THE ROYAL MINT: Absolutely ecstatic. I think we all were. It was really nicer environment, nicer people get jobs doing this as well.
BOULDER: And they'll be ready in plenty of time no doubt.
MERRY: Yes. Yes. We've done the Olympics and then we're doing the Paralympics which is in a little bit at the moment.
BOULDER: On this day, the medals for track and field or athletics were being etched.
The Royal Mint says its engraver is the only person who will touch every single London medal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's nice. Quite nice.
BOULDER: Before the etching, the medals have to be formed and then dipped in sulfuric acid. There is a vat for the bronze medals and another for the silver ones. But none for gold because they aren't really gold. They're the same as the silver ones with just 6 grams of gold mixed in.
To put anymore in there would make it far too expensive. Later in the process, it will be gold-plated, but in truth, it is a silver medal made to look like gold.
And a bronze medal is, of course, mostly copper and tin, which is mined by Rio Tinto in Utah and Mongolia.
ANDREW HARDING, RIO TINTO: It's a hell of a series of milestones that you've got to meet to actually get the material here in time for the medals to be made and then in time. You can't be late. The athletes aren't going to stand there and wait for you.
BOULDER: And, you might have noticed, these London medals are big, very big.
GAVIN ELLIOTT, THE ROYAL MINT: We effectively went to the biggest medal that we could manufacture at The Royal Mint.
BOULDER: Compare them to the ones presented in Athens in 2004.
Jim Boulden, CNN, Llantrisant, Wales.
BANFIELD: No matter how precious they are, everybody wants one.
It is time now for Wolf Blitzer and "The Situation Room."